Website and Business Resources to help you grow
I know there are a gazillion doula business resources out there, but not all are a good fit for your type of business. I've seen too many doulas invest hours and hours of time into tools that just don't work. Below you will find some of my favorites. I've also developed a number of helpful ebooks and courses to support your practice - be sure to take a look!
Website Hosting Companies and DOMAIN NAMES
Websavers is an excellent choice for quality hosting. As a smaller company they have highly responsive technical support by email. Plus, you'll find fast page loading times (good for your SEO and client conversion) and automated backups. As a bonus, pricing is in Canadian $ so those of you in the US will enjoy savings. If your website is currently with another host they will extend your new contract to match what you've already paid - just ask! They do offer a basic free account, but it is too small for most sites. Includes free site transfer (coupon code FreeSiteMigrator) and domain registration.
"Websavers has been GREAT so far. Very prompt responses and a nice experience to get messages from a person directly involved in the process. Everything is loading like a dream on my site. So much faster!"
- J.B., Doula & CBE who switched from Bluehost
SITEGROUND is my other strong hosting choice. If you would rather work with a larger US-based company, but still want excellent tech support and good site speeds, Siteground is my top recco. My favorite plan is Growbig, but Startup could be a great choice if you are just starting out. Includes free site transfer and domain registration.
NAMECHEAP makes it easy to register and manage your domain. Finding the right domain name for your website is a big deal (here's a blog post on how to choose a domain name!) While I recommend Websavers and Siteground above for hosting, and you can register your domain together with hosting (for free!), some people prefer to keep their domain registration separate for more flexibility. You might also want to consider registering a few related domains to protect your brand. The first year of domain registration includes domain privacy - learn what this is and why it is a good idea here.
WEBSITE GRAPHIC ELEMENTS
The right graphics and fonts can really take a site to the next level. Creative Market is my top choice source for gorgeous artistic elements to help take a website to the next level. For samples of what you can find there, check out these watercolor peonies, hand-drawn feathers, and handwriting fonts.
I know that finding good stock photos for your website can be a rather painful process. Be sure to check out my guide to finding free and high quality stock photos for your doula website. Unfortunately the stock photography industry has not caught onto the market of birth and postpartum professionals, so it is indeed hard to find actual photos of pregnant women that don't look airbrushed, and near impossible to find photos of birth. Still, thee are many fantastic photos to choose from that include nature imagery, home & family which can be very effectively used on your website.
BUILD YOUR OWN WEBSITE
My top WordPress theme choice for those of you looking to build your own site? Meet Divi. If you aren't ready for for one of my template websites or custom design and you want to build your own WordPress website, Divi from Elegant Themes is a good option with amazing flexibility and lots of free tutorials.Need help? My hourly website doula care makes a big difference!
I say this with note of caution, however. Building your own WordPress website has a learning curve, no matter how great the theme. Do the math: The cost of one of my template sites can be easily covered with 2-3 new clients - why not start with a website you love Now that can grow with your practice, rather than investing months in building your own site? Payment plans are available!
When choosing to work with a more structured drag and drop builder, Squarespace is my first choice due to the quality of template design. If you're not tech savvy or willing to take on a bigger learning curve, then Squarespace is a good solid choice with mobile responsive design. Some find the templates too limiting and wish for more room for creativity. Also, at $16/month for the basic version the monthly cost of a Squarespace website is easily double or more that of hosting your own WordPress website.
ADD A STORE TO YOUR WORDPRESS WEBSITE
Building a site with a store doesn't have to be crazy complicated. If you have a WordPress website and want to run a small store featuring packages for your services, or products for sale, ECWID is a great solution. Their user interface is super simple, friendly, and they offer excellent tech support.
BUILD YOUR MAILING LIST
Stay connected and market your practice using custom email campaigns using MailChimp. It is free for under 2,000 subscribers, or upgrade to a paid plan to make best use of their features, such as a trigger campaign to automatically send birthday cards for clients' babies. Book a one hour website consult with me to brainstorm creative ways to use MailChimp on your site!